By Peter Rockwell
While the Nova Scotia wine industry has exploded over the last decade it’s been ten years since anyone celebrated its success in words and pictures. The Wine Lover’s Guide to Atlantic Canada (Nimbus Publishing, $37.95) by Moira Peters and Craig Pinhey, with fantastic photos by sommelier journalist
Jessica Emin, tells the world what we already know, Atlantic Canada rocks when it comes to winemaking. Find on-line at chapters.indigo.ca.
Oak aging a wine takes time and costs money, both for the winery and you if you’re into a tipple with a touch of woody maturity. The less expensive a wine the more likely it is that it spent next to no time soaking up personality from inside a barrel. The Oak Bottle, invented by Ontario-born Joel Paglione, is an ingenious gizmo that will add bark to your table wine in less than 48 hours. Available in various sizes, you simply decant your wine into the Oak Bottle and wait. It works for spirits too. Order at oakbottle.com.
Pass on glass
Enjoying a glass of wine used to mean opening a full bottle. ‘The Birdman’ Pinot Grigio and ‘Cardinal Zin’ Zinfandel (250 ml, $4.99) are single serve Californian wines that come sealed inside aluminum cans. While the crack of their tabs may not sound as romantic as a cork popping, their fresh, fruit-forward flavour profiles, with a pour ideal for a party of one, will win you over. What’s up with the prison theme on their labels? Turns out the winery, in Monterey County, is next door to the Soledad State Correctional Facility, a.k.a. “The Big House.”
Cider rules! Familiar in flavour and oh-so food friendly, there’s no better time than late summer to bite into one of the many locally harvested interpretations of the craft.
No Boats On Sunday Cider 500 ml, $3.99
Oars Up! Made in Truro by Andrew Peller Limited from all local ingredients, this traditional cider is medium bodied with a soft, rounded finish.
Stutz Premium Craft Cider 473 ml, $3.99
Its dry/sweet balance comes from the union of seven apple varieties and two ciders fermented separately then blended together.
Shipbuilders Cider 500 ml, $3.99
Stutz’s sister cider uses the same apple mix, but is fermented drier and to the slightly higher alcohol content of 6 per cent in beautiful Berwick, Nova Scotia.
Bulwark Traditional Craft Cider 500 ml, $3.99
This blend of Annapolis Valley grown Macintosh, Cortland, Russet, Honeycrisp and Northern Spy starts off dry but finishes with a deep apple essence.
L’Acadie Vineyards Organic 750 ml, $19.99
Bright and effervescent, this champagne of local ciders is made with four apple varieties in the method of production used for sparkling wines.
Peter Rockwell is a Wine Category Manager at the NSLC. In each issue, he will be serving up entertaining ideas and tips that are ‘freshly pressed.‘